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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 25, 2010 10:15pm-11:00pm EST

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except you see me, the scared white guy without the beard, third from the right contract in the back. they have beards, turbans, armed to the teeth. when i got to school, they saw the giant playground. so they threw down their weapons and for an hour and a half they jumped on the swings and the slides. turbans flying all over the place. [applause] finally, like an hour later they said the headmaster sitting over there waiting for you. he says no, no, were totally satisfied. we want a girl's school in our village. and so, they said but first you have to come have tea with us. so in september with two afghan, what to beirut. and this is not the place where normally you would go. we had wonderful meeting with the shura. and they said were going to get
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freelance, free labor. now the schools started running. but my only worry is there going to the playground and the girls don't get to use the playground. i have spent a lot of time talking to the elders on the right to stodgy abraham. he's the leader of the shura. and he told me as a child -- she grew up in refugee camps. he grew up in war. he grew up learning to hate and fight and kill the russian invaders. he never had a chance to play. he told me when he saw the playground, he became a child again. i think it's ironic that the millions of dollars that have gone into that province, dozens of people killed, soldiers killed, bombs dropped in everything, there is a girls school now there because of a playground or you know, there's an effort in this country, all the way down into first grade to
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get kids on the internet. i don't think kids need to do that. they need to go out and play. they need to have that. [applause] i also think every single child in this country should be bilingual. you know, we do live in a global society and i think that's imperative. [applause] and lastly, which when i'm home i take my kids every saturday to library and i make my son read at least 30 minutes at night. sometimes reread a storytelling. i think every child should be encouraged or even sometimes pushed and prodded to read. i think that is so important to anything we're going to try and do. well, i'd like to close with a quote from martin luther king jr. my mother is a good lutheran. she said martin luther said this.
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[laughter] i'm not the chinese council of recently said no, no, this isn't ancient chinese coal. not somebody tell me this is part of the hyades. so i don't know who said this first. but what it says is even if the world ends tomorrow, i hope that we see today. i think that is really the hope for the future. if we can glean from our altars and respect them and learn from them in many of the wide lessons and imparted with the children of the next generation, i do know that this world will be a better place. we as a society, we as a community, we as a global -- what we've gone through wars, we've gone through crises. we found her depressions. we've gone to many other things, but i think if we can make that connection with the elders, i do think that we can live in peace. so i just want to thank all of you. it's a great honor to be here,
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especially for the festival and what it means to literacy and books and education and to all of you, just thank you so much. and god bless all of you. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> greg mortenson is the cofounder and executive director of the asia institute and the founder of pennies for peace. his first book, "three cups of tea" has been published in 39 countries and sold over 3.5 million copies. for more information, visit greg >> political satirist, pgr work work -- ways and i'm numerous other political issues,
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including health care reform, the recent financial crisis, climate change, no child left behind and campaign finance reform. the event, hosted by the cato institute in washington d.c. as 50 minute. >> my good friend in the age-old, cato fellow patrick j. o'rourke. [applause] >> well, thank you all fori kno coming out.bably and i appreciate it. home that some of you probably felt like you should be home laying down with a cold compress on your head after president obama's 1:00 p.m. press he conference. certainly left me with at headache. you know? and i don't say that just because republicans didn't take the senate, you know, or -- we lost that election because
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almost every political contest yesterday was won by a politician. [laughter] a couple of cases angry nuts won which is an improvement over politicians. [laughter] but it's really, t just not good enough -- it's just not good enough. i will not be satisfied until every seat in the house and senate is filled by a regular person. a regular person who, quite reasonably, hates being there. i want government to be like jury duty. and not jury duty for some exciting crime like the o.j. simpson murder, you know? [laughter] i want government to be like jury duty for a long, boring, complex, confusing trial concerning tax law. in fact, let me suggest indicting our federal tack code just -- tax code just for starts
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which is nothing but fraud. i want government to be dull, a dull and onerous responsibility like attending a parent/teacher conference, you know? something that to be undertaken with weary reluctance because good citizenship requires it, you know? i want every congressman, every senator, every president, every supreme court justice to be wishing, longing, begging to go back to his or her real job in real life. i want them hoping and pleading to be allowed to return to their private interests and personal avocations. i want them yearning to be sitting in front of the tv with a beer watching ed crane lose money on his world series bets. [laughter] i want our elected officials to say that they intend to spend more time with their families and mean it. [laughter]
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mean it, you know? we will know when we have won an election. we will know when we've won an election. when every single candidate who's voted into office begins his or her victory speech by saying, oh, shit. [laughter] no. now, i'm working on a -- in this new book on a new theory of political science, and instead of basing my theory on the work of deep political thinkers such as john locke, tom payne, john stewart mill and ed crane, i'm basing my theory on a dumb game played at all night giggle sessions in girls' boarding schools. my wife told me about this. game's called, "screw mary." what happens is that the girls pick three men, and they go around the room, and every girl
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has to decide which one of the three she would kill, which one she'd screw and which one she would settle down for life and raise a family, right? now, i think the example my wife gave when she was telling me about this, her example was conan o'brien, david letterman, jay leno. you know, the girls could kill conan, screw letterman -- all the other interns did -- and marry jay leno, right? and i'm laughing. but then it struck me, kill screw mary, that's how we pick the president of the united states. take as example the 1992 presidential election. george h.w. bush, bill clinton, ross perot. kill ross perot, avoid the screw from bill clinton and marry kindly old george h.w. bush. now, of course, the outcome of the game is not always a foregone conclusion. in case of the 2000 presidential
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election, america was pretty much evenly divided about whether to screw george w. or get screwed by al gore, although i think we all agreed on killing ralph nader. [laughter] i won't venture any examples from more recent elections fear of attracting attention from the secret service, hard as that sometimes seems to be in the obama white house. but anyway. kill/screw mary, it just got me thinking. it works on types of government, kill the postal service, get in bed with housing. screw agricultural subsidies, marry social security and health care reform kills us. i mean, kill/screw mary. great tool of political analysis because in a free and democratic country, politics is sort of a three-legged stool. politics is balanced upon a tripod of power, freedom and responsibility. can kill/screw mary. and we live in a free and
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democratic country, a little less democratic than it was before last night which was fine with me. also kill/screw mary is a great tool of political analysis because we're so passionate about our politics. and how do passionate affairs end? in a passion, usually, in a crime of passion sometimes. and occasionally they turn into stable, permanent legal arrangements which is to say the endless peevish quarrel known as marriage. so how do we approach the political institutions of our free and democratic country? do we overthrow them with violence? do we screw around cheating on them while they screw around cheating on us, or do we try to build something that is lasting and boring, worthy and annoying, marvelously virtuous and be at the same time dreadfully stifling? a marriage, huh? power, freedom, responsibility, kill/screw mary. now, when i first began to think
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about politics when mast donses and nixon roamed the earth -- [laughter] i was obsessed with freedom, the screw part of kill/screw mary. i had a messy idea of freedom back in those days drinking bong water, but i had a tidy idea that freedom was the central issue of politics. now, i loved politics. many young people do. kids can spot a means of gain without merit, you know? this may be the reason that professional politicians retain a certain youthful zest. ted kennedy was the boyo right down to his last aged-disease wracked moment. i was sure i was right about the preeminent place freedom should have in a political system. but there are lots of definitions of free.
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thirty-six definitions of free in webster's third international dictionary. plenty of people are theoretically in favor of freedom. we are all but overrun with theoretical allies in freedom's cause. we have got collaborators in the fight for freedom that we don't even want. i mean, the proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. it's the second to the last sentence of the communist manifesto, and there's a creepy echo of it in the refrain of chris kristofferson's me and bobby mcgee. half a million people died in that definition of freedom, and we should probably keep in mind that the original definition of the word "free" in english is not in bondage. the most meaningful thing about freedom is that mankind has a sickening history of slavery. now, here in america we have
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freedom because we have righted. the same way we can get mixed up about freedom we can get mixed up about our rights. there are two kinds of rights, political scientists call them positive rights and negative rights. sometimes we call them opportunities and prejudices. privileges. i call them get out of here rights and gimme rights. politicians are always telling us about our gimme rights, especially the politician we've got in the white house right now. as in gimme some health care insurance, you know? in but, you know, our bill of rights doesn't mention any dimmy rights -- gimme rights. our bill of rights is all about our right to say i have got god, guns and a big damn mouth, and if judge finds me guilty, there'll go my bail. our freedom from interference, usually from goth, but also from
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our fellow citizens when they want us to sober up, put the gun down and go back in the trailer. [laughter] politicians don't like gimme -- they only like gimme rights. they do not like get out of here rights. they don't like get out of here rights because for one thing all legislators are being invited to get out of here, you know if and for another thing, strict adherence would leave little scope for legislation, something that legislators dearly love to do. gimme rights, much more politically alluring. and this is how we find ourselves tempted with the right to education, the right to housing, right to a living wage, to oil spill beach clean-up, high-speed internet access, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. politicians show no signs in even knowing the difference. and blinded by the dazzle of anything that makes them
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popular, they honestly may not be able to tell. but there is evidence that a confusion about these right t was originally -- rights was originally presented to the public with malice aforethought. president franklin roosevelt's four freedoms appear to be at first glance as natural, as well-matched, as tidy of composition as those norman rockwell pictures of them, freedom from religion, freedom from fear. but notice how the beggar, number three -- freedom from want -- has slipped in among the more respectable members of the freedom family. want what? saying, as roosevelt did, that we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms and one of these freedoms is freedom from want, this was not an an expression of generosity from roosevelt. declarations like freedom from want are never expression of
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generosity. there were six million jewish in germany that wanted some place to go. wrong rights are the source of abusive political power. it was years before i realized, years after i first got interested in politics before i realized the central issue of politics is power, not freedom. kill, not screw. only an idiot wouldn't have seen this, and i was one. i wasn't alone. liberals, moderates, even some conservatives considered the sweeping gimme rights created by half a century of social welfare programs to be extensions of freedom in the opportunity right sense. people were being given the opportunity to, you know, not starve to death. and that's not a purely evil way of looking at things. and not all the social welfare
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programs were bad. but the electorate, the candidates and me failed to properly scrutinize social welfare programs. it's not that we failed to examine whether the programs were needed or unneeded or well or poorly run. what we failed to look at was the enormous power being taken from people and given to politics. we let freedom be turned into power. f off and die, the politicians told us. politicians are careful about promising gimme rights, they are cynical about delivering them. and gimme rights, in turn, are absurdly expandable. the government gives me the right to get married. this indicates i have a right to a good marriage, otherwise why bother giving that right to me. now, my marriage is made a lot better by my children's right to daycare so the brats aren't in my face all day, you know? being deprived of their right to a nurturing developmental
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environment. every child has the right to a happy childhood, so i have the right to happy children. richer children are happier. give me some of angelina jolie's. the expense of all these rights makes politicians happy. they get to do the spending. even get out of here rights aren't free. they entail a mill care, a constabulary, a judiciary and a considerable expenditure by our neighbors when they want us to sober up and go back in the trail. but gimme rights require no money. every one of such rights means the transfer of goods and services from one group of citizens to another. now, the first group of citizens loses those goods and services, but all citizens lose the power that must be given to a political authority to enforce that transfer. and we didn't, we didn't want to
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understand that power. and this is particularly true of people my age, of the baby boom. it was obvious in the way we reacted when politicians attempted to use their power to limit our freedom by drafting us into the war in vietnam. we fought the establishment by growing our hair long and dressing like circus clowns, you know? we're a pathetic bunch. we're a pathetic punch, and it didn't start with the beatles, marijuana and the pill. recall the coonskin cap? [laughter] i wore mine to school. children of previous eras may have worn coonskin caps, but they had to eat the raccoons first. [laughter] baby boom's reluctance to pay attention to the real issues of power resulted from the fact that we had some. freedom is power, you know? and when it came to freedom, we were full of it. we were the first middle class majority generation in history. we had all the varieties of
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freedom that affluence provides, plus we had the other varieties of freedom provided by the relaxation of religious conviction, sexual morality, etiquette and good taste. the institutions that enforce prudence and restraint, they had been through a world war, prohibition, depression, another world war and elvis. they were tired. and we were allowed to fall under the power of our freedoms, and we powered through them. sixty years on we are still at it letting not age, tedium or erectile dysfunction stand in our way, you know? and yet always at our pack we hear this nagging -- back we hear this nagging thought that with power comes responsibility. kill/screw/marriage. and we don't want that. has there ever been a generation, civilization more determined to evade responsibility? well, yes, probably there has. the ancient romans sliced open
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animals and be rummaged in their kidneys and livers trying to avoid up to the consequences of empire and toga parties. the greeks were forever running off to hear the irresponsible babble of the oracle of delphi, the larry king of rage. [laughter] maybe the egyptians had an oprah barge on the nile where deceased pharoahs could fall to pieces and promise to become better mummies, you know what i mean? this nonetheless, the baby boom has an impressive record of blame-shifting, duty-shirking unaccountability and refusal to admit guilt or, better, to readily confess to every kind of guilt and then announce that we have moved on. a gigantic national not-my-fault project has been undertaken with heroic amounts of time, effort and money devoted to psychology, psychotherapy, sociology, sociopaths, social work, social sciences, scientology, science,
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chemistry, the brain, brain chemistry, inhibitions, sex, sex therapy, talk therapy, talk radio, talk radio personalities, personality disorders, drugs, drug-free school zones, economics, the feds, pms, dna, evolution, divorce, no-fault car insurance, the democratic party and diagnosis of attention deficit disorder in small boys. [laughter] when i started thinking about politics 40 some years ago, i shouldn't have been thinking mainly about freedom and power, about screwing and killing. i should have been thinking about that march down the church aisle responsibility. it is, of course, too late now. i'm a child of my era. and speaking of that era, here are three slogans from three 1960s posters that never, ever existed. sisterhood is responsible. black responsibility. responsibility to the people.
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i'm trying to imagine me and my bratty little friends out there on the barricades with our fists raised yelling, "responsibility to the people" you know? now, it is our great good fortune that we as libertarians have a way out of that kill/screw/marry game of politics because we have realized that true freedom, true power and true responsibility are individual matters. we know that the greatest source of our freedom, our power and our responsibility is, quite simply, the free market. economic freedom is the freedom we exercise most often and to the greatest extent. freedom of speech is important. if you have anything to say, i check the internet. nobody does. a freedom of belief is important if you believe in anything. i've watched reality tv, i can't believe it. freedom of assembly is important. if you have an assembly to go to the way we do.
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but most people go to the mall, and at the mall they exercise economic freedom. we have the cow of economic freedom. do we take the cow to market and trade her for the magic beans of bailout and stimulus? when we climb that magic bean stalk, we're going to find a giant government at the top, you know? are we going to be as lucky as jack and the beanstalk was? i'm not sure jack himself was that lucky with his giant killing, you know? jack the giant killer, that's jack's version, you know? my guess is that jack spent years being investigated by giant subcommittees, you know? [laughter] and now jack's paying a giant tax on his beanstalk bonus with his salary being determined by a compensation committee that is 40 feet tall, you know? this free market, it's not a creed or an ideology that we libertarians want americans to take on faith. no. the free market is simply a measurement. the free market tells us what
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people are willing to pay for a given thing at a given moment. that's all the free market does. the free market is a bathroom scale. we may not like what we see when we step on the bathroom scale, but we cannot pass a law making ourselves weigh 145 and president obama thinks we can. you know? free market gives us only one piece of information, but it is important information. we ignore it at our peril the way the leaders of the old soviet bloc did. they lost the cold war not because of troops or tanks or star wars missile shields. they lost the cold war because of bulgarian blue jeanses. the free market was attempting to inform the kremlin that bulgarian blue jeans didn't fit. they were ugly and ill-made. nobody wanted them at any price. people wouldn't wear bulgarian blue jeans, literally not to save their lives. but the kremlin didn't listen, and the berlin wall came down.
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there is, however, just one problem. with escaping from the kill/screw/marry of politics. if our nation becomes a libertarian nation, this will deprive politics of all of its tools and instruments. if we succeed in getting people to quit killing, stop screwing around and start taking the troughs they've plighted in life seriously, there will be no room left for politics. so how will politics be able to give us our rights to three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree? how will politics be able to make things fair? now, this may be a valid concern, but i am immune to it. i am immune to it because i have a 12-year-old daughter, and that is all i hear. that's not fair. [laughter] that's not fair. it's not fair, it's not fair.
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all my friends have an ipad, it's not fair. you let my little sister do such and such, it's not fair. it's not fair. one day i just snapped, and i said to her, honey, you're cute. that's not fair. you're smart. that's not fair. your family is pretty well off. that's not fair. you were born in the united states of america. that's not fair. darling, you had better get down on your knees and pray to god that things don't start getting fair for you. [laughter] anyway, that's everything i know. [laughter] but if anybody has a question, i'll make up some other stuff. i see a question right back there. >> i've seen you a few times. >> thank you. >> and there's a microphone for, with which you can ask your question. >> it's good to see you again here, and i wanted to thank you
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again for the opportunity to speak with you on your last book that came out about the cars. >> you're very welcome. >> i see some of the central themes repeated here tonight. were you, in any way, involved in the civil rights movement when, obviously, you were too young to to be fully involved in it, but in retrospect how do you feel about what happened during the '60s versus what we have now. >> oh, yeah. i mean, you know, i wasn't involved in the, in the civil rights movement like being a freedom rider or anything like that. of course, i was an avid supporter. i was a leftist at the time, and i do think it's one like little red badge of courage that the left can present us with, they were out front. maybe not for the best of motives always, but nonetheless, they were out front on the civil rights question. and it is always to be born in mind, you know, that one thing that sets us apart from some people in the conservative movement is our belief in the
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rule of law and our belief in the equality of people, more precisely our belief in the equality of everyone before the law. i mean, everyone must be equal before the law. that's actually even more important than whether the law is good. is that we all be -- most important thing is that we be equal before the law and that we have some measure of input as to what that law can be. what it is. and that existence of law, the equality before the law, the input into the law, these are the things that actually create the necessity, the logical necessity for democracy. and this is really at the core of our beliefs. and there are, you know, there are people who are on our side on many issues who are not as firm, alas, as i think we are ant -- about that. sir.
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>> mr. o'rourke, i remember you spoke in this auditorium at the beginning of the iraq war, and you said you were in favor of it. do you still feel the same way about it? >> no. my, my, you know, to use what cain said, you know, when my information changes, my opinion changes. what do you do? [laughter] i have considerable more reservations about the iraq war now than i had then. we only knew what we knew. and, you know, people right up the food chain to mohamedal barty, you know, over at the u.n. believed that there were weapons of mass destruction. that really wasn't why i was in favor of the iraq war. i had been in the gulf war, i had covered the gulf war. i had seen what saddam hussein did to kuwait and the people of kuwait, and i felt this was a very, very bad man, and i felt that the fundamental question was, is he a bad man, does he do
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bad things, does he have the resources to do bad things, and that was three yeses and you're out, you know? so i was in favor of the iraq war. however, i was also in baghdad. about two days after baghdad fell. i arrived in baghdad, and, you know, we violated the power rule. we broke it. but we failed to buy it. there was no water. the water system was not operating, there was no electricity. but, i mean, no water, i mean, that says it all. this is a desert country. there was no water in the baghdad. millions of people, and no water. the sewage system was going to pieces, there was no food, there was no provision for medical care. we had just, we had taken large chunks out of this city, done a lot of damage in taking over this city, and we were providing no aid whatsoever to the people of the city. they were not initially that unhappy to see us.
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i walked around without a guard, without a weapon. i walked around baghdad by myself. you know, i got a few ugly looks, i got some waves and smiles, i got some, you know, like, you know, i'm not sure looks. but i never felt myself to be in danger. and it wasn't until the people of iraq fully realized that these, these weird alien creatures who had arrived in their country all dressed up like, you know, like the soldiers in if star warses, you know, hadn't brought anything with them, you know? hadn't brought any alternative. they were, they were plenty glad to be rid of saddam hussein and of the pair sittic and vicious members of the baath party. so, you know, that aftermath to the iraq war modified my feeling -- in retro spect, modified my feeling of respect for the iraq war.
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probably if i'd done due diligence as they say in business, i would have realized we were going into iraq so poorly prepared. not so poorly prepared from our point of view, but so poorly prepared from the point of view of the iraqi people. so -- sir. >> just to follow up on your response to that. how do you reconcile -- [inaudible] just to follow up on what you just said, how do you reconcile that with your analysis previously about the gimme rights versus the get out of here rights? it seems like providing the iraqis with electricity, providing them with water, all that nation-building infrastructure stuff seems to fall on the side of gimme rights rather than get out of here. >> well, you're right, you're correct. that certainly does. and if we had invaded america -- but we didn't, you know? [laughter] you know. if our government had invaded us, and i suppose some would say they had in a way.
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they would be under a certain obligation to provide for our welfare. i speak of it only really, i mean, i speak of it partly from a humanitarian point of view. i mean, i simply, you know, i didn't like the suffering that i saw. but i also speak of it as a pragmatic point of view. you know, if you're going to invade another country, you know, no matter how good your reasons may be, and let's say for argument's sake that the reasons were much better than they, in fact, were. let's say that they were, like, nazi germany invasion level every reasons. you still if you want that, that invasion and that occupation to be a success, if you want to have your way, you want the germans to quit being nazis, you know, you want the baathists to be out of power and stay out of power and don't want anything, anybody bad to come in and fill that power vacuum, then it is incumbent upon you just from a pact practical point of view to bring some goodies in your easter basket.
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sir. >> i was struck in your presentation that, obviously, the day after an election it's fun to think about our elected officials. but as i recalled in your book "parliament offer whos" when you goat to the end the parliament of whorew were us, and everything that we thought now had become our right. and it seems to me that there's sort of a question of, okay, if you have a house of, quote, representatives and we're all out trying to hang on to what we like, what would you expect the house of representatives to do? >> will -- yeah! no, the fault of bad government from the president right on down is squarely on our shoulders as american citizens. we elected these people, you know? and we elected these people because gimme rights are quite enticing. they really are. that was why, and that's why the
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final sentence of "parliament of whores" is the whores are us. this is a democracy, we do control this country, and we have been willing to give away a lot of our freedoms in return for what we perceived as being benefits. one of the things that fascinates me about the tea party movement is that this is a grassroots movement going around asking for less from government, you know? this has come up -- this is not come down from the elites, this has come up from the bottom. we're being our own sarkozys with this. we are going to ourselves and saying, no, no, you can't, you can't retire at 28. you can't have the government pay 165% of your college tuition. you can't, you cannot have all of these benefits without their being enormous costs to our individual freedom and, of course, costs to our economy, all sorts of blowback from this. and so that's why, you know, is the, is the, is the tea party
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movement a perfect thing? of course not. it's a big tree. big trees attract squirrels. i mean, there are some people out there. you know, i mean, christine o'donnell. i am not a witch, you know? i was a little amazed at that. on the other hand, i thought to myself has hillary clinton ever cleared that up? [laughter] come on, let's be fair. but, no, i think, you know, i think it's quite extraordinary. i was talking to a group a couple months back answering a question about the tea party movement, and i said when in the history of american pop you list movements has there been a movement that wanted less from the government? they always want some positive benefit from the government. now, sometimes they are more than entitled to that positive benefit. civil rights movement was a populist movement. the benefit that they wanted from government was equality before the law. they wanted the law to be enforced. but it was, nonetheless, they were asking the government to do something, and the fact that
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they were right, it was good, you know? many we've also had plenty of populist movements where we have had xenophobic populist movements, the agrarian populists who, you know, wanted, basically, free mortgages. they wanted the bubble that we just went through, you know? they were agitating for a sort of mortgage bubble back in the 19th century. so we've got all kinds of populist movements, they've always been asking the government for something. and here for the first time we have a populist 3450u6789 that's -- movement that's asking the government for less. now, are they perfectly cogent about that? are they always sure about what just less they want? are they completely clear about how we would roll back the size and scope of government? this well, no, they're not because they're amateurs. they're regular people, and this is a new thing, you know? this is only, like, about 22 months old. but i'm still impressed.
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so i was talking to this group about that ask saying, you know, show me in the history of america a populist movement that hasn't wanted something from government, and somebody in the back of the room said the whiskey rebellion. [laughter] and i said, well, i was in favor of that too. [laughter] back there. >> hello. thanks for being here. >> you're welcome. >> i perceive rightly or wrongly that there's kind of this hole in libertarian thought in that for all this freedom that libertarians kind of want there to be for me as an individual that there's no room for the responsibility that you talk about, and there's no grounding or reference point in the social contract. i think some social conservatives would like it to be religion, and the establishment clause or lack thereof. you know, kind of puts limits on that. where's the morality -- >> i actually think that most people who are serious in their
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libertarian thinking are pretty good on the responsibility issue. which has been summed up as you have the right to do anything you want, and you also have the obligation to take the consequences, you know? i mean, i think we're pretty square on that. if i had an argument with libertarianism, my argument with libertarianism would not be ab negation of responsibility, it would be a sometimes relentless application of logic to politics. and politics, you know, michael oakshot made this argument, i think, very forcefully if you can get through his poise which is very difficult, but he made this argument quite forcefully back at the end of the '40s, beginning of the '50s that politics is not a fully rational endeavor. i mean, politics is simply how we get along with each other in a group that has, that either
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we've landed in or we have selected to be in. it is simply a way of people getting along with each other. and we tend to think especially because we have that wonderful example of our founding fathers and the founding documents and so on, we have a tendency as americans to think that politics has a beginning and that -- and oakshot pointed out that, no, politics does not have a beginning, that the social contract is a kind of intellectual construct that we've made. when was it exactly that man apes, you know, came down from the trees before they could talk and agreed on how many grunts you get and how many grunts i get on the social contract? no, this has evolved organically, and oakshot also made the point that there's no tellology, and politics does not have an object. it does not have a purpose. i mean, it's up to us to give it its object and purpose.
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it as an organic matter of human behavior, politics has neither a beginning, nor an end, nor a purpose. it's simply the way that people get along, manage to get -- arrange their affairs with other people. and sometimes we as libertarians have a tendency to ask for a more logical construction of politics than humans are probably actually capable of, you know? let's see, sir. trying to -- trying to predict where the microphone will go. let's send it down here next, okay? >> my name's terence, i'm unafailuated. -- unaffiliated. mr. o'rourke, my question is what would you hope for and what would you expect from a president sarah palinsome. >> ooh. what would i hope for and what would i expect from a president sarah palin?
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you know, i would hope that she wouldn't try and think things through. [laughter] talk about applications of reason. because i don't think she's real strong in that department. i'm not sure i, that i am, you know, greatly at variance with sarah palin's, with most of her values, you know? but i think that she is, you know, it's politics as showmanship. i mean, as a politician i think she's got a great career coming in talk radio, you know? and i hope not in the white house, you know? it is -- you know, it really takes a -- the view that i think is probably, you know, the views of politics and the views of economics that are represented in this room are demanding views of politics, demanding views of economics. they, they're


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